Friday, July 3, 2009

The birth of CodeEmbed4Web part #2

As it's Friday today, I figured I give an update on the CodeEmbed4Web project. I've been working on this on and off for the past week and a half and got some stuff done. As you may still remember from the previous post I sad I would test the mechanism I came up with to make sure it works with XAML as well. I'm happy to let you know it works exactly like expected.

I haven't got around to building a template for C# yet, let alone for XAML, but I have been putting a lot of thought into how the user interface for this tool should look. Some considerations:
  • The tool shouldn't be invasive. This means that it should take the smallest space possible without disturbing the functionality.
  • As I'm using WPF, I figured it should look good, but as I'm not much of a designer I figured I would use one of the themes from the WPF Toolkit.
  • It should be flexible in allowing to add new templates.

After playing around with Microsoft Expression Blend 3 Preview I came up with what you can see in the screenshot below.

No, it's not integrated with Visual Studio. That's just to show you how small the user interface is. You can go trough the buttons from top to button, to use the tool. The top tool expands a list of templates, so you can select your template. The middle button converts whatever code is on the clipboard and puts it back on the clipboard. The bottom button expands a menu which, at the moment, only allows you to close the tool.

At the top of the user interface, above the first button, is a handle you can use to drag the tool anywhere.

So, next steps:

  1. Finish up the user interface in terms of behaviour (not showing it in the task bar and staying on top of other windows, just to name a few).
  2. Build a template for C#
  3. Build a setup
  4. Release Beta 1

I would love to know what you think about the user interface and if you have any ideas to further improve on it. Please let me know what you think, by leaving me a comment.

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